2020 Toyota Prius vs. 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Prius offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Prius LE/XLE/Limited has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Prius’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Prius and the Sonata Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Sonata Hybrid.

There are over 47 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Prius’ warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Prius’ reliability 21 points higher than the Sonata Hybrid.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Prius FWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Sonata Hybrid (58 city/53 hwy vs. 40 city/46 hwy).

Transmission

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The Prius has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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The Prius XLE/Limited’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata Hybrid’s optional 55 series tires.

The Prius LE FWD has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Sonata Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Prius’ turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Sonata Hybrid’s (33.5 feet vs. 35.6 feet). The Prius Limited/XLE FWD’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Sonata Hybrid’s (35.4 feet vs. 35.6 feet).

Chassis

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The Toyota Prius may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

The Prius is 11.1 inches shorter than the Sonata Hybrid, making the Prius easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Prius uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Prius’ hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Sonata Hybrid’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics

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The Prius (except L/LE) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sonata Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Sonata Hybrid Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Prius the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Sonata Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Prius XLE/Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sonata Hybrid’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Prius has a standard rear wiper. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Prius LE/XLE/Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sonata Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Prius as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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